ARCADE for STRING QUARTET
This quartet is inspired by the overwhelming sensory experience of an arcade—the barrage of neon lights, the competing array of music and sound effects, and the persistent mechanical crunch of buttons. Musically, this hyperactivity is realized with a frenetically paced harmonic rhythm, where the chords often change every sixteenth note, and an intense style of bowing, where the musicians double the number of bow strokes in already fast sections. The piece also mimics the formal structure of gameplay, where levels are failed and must be replayed. After the first time through, the quartet refines the opening material and discovers new pathways, taking the listener to new levels.
Completed in 2021 and premiered by the Bergamot Quartet at Towson University on April 21st, 2021. The piece was commissioned by the Bergamot Quartet and Towson University.